"Too cheap to meter," was one of the outrageous claims made by proponents of nuclear power for electricity production in the late 1950s. An energy-abundant utopia was all but promised, with expectations that nuclear power would one day even be used to power planes and cars.
We all know what happened to the hype and the demise of Maine Yankee in 1997.
Enter commercial wind development in 2010. Different energy source, similar hype.
Wind energy proponents proclaim it will mean energy independence from foreign oil and reduced carbon emissions; that it is environmentally friendly; that Maine is the Saudi Arabia of wind; and that electric cars would be charged from wind power.
One prominent wind developer even suggested tourism would increase as a result of mining Maine's mountains for wind.
The best sales pitch of all was that a wind power project would provide enough electricity for 60,00 Maine homes.
In reality, commercial wind power is an unreliable, environmentally degrading, overpriced form of power generation. Nothing short of massive amounts of public money can make those projects happen, because no developer in his right mind would undertake a project without public money.
There are alternatives for consistent, reliable sources of power generation, much of it offered by Canada, including hydro power and natural gas (which is 50 percent less polluting than coal). We should be more concerned about energy security and less about energy independence and definitely not spend taxpayer capital on unreliable commercial wind power development.
Norman Kalloch, Carrying Place Town Township